Nauli means isolation of the abdominal recti (Abdominal muscles). This yogic technique massages the entire abdomen by contracting and isolating the belly (abdomen) muscles (especially the rectus abdominis).
It is an abdominal exercise and is practised in a standing position with both legs apart and bending slightly at the knees and stooping forward. With the fingers spread wide, place the hands on the thighs just above the knees. Inhale deeply. While exhaling, the abdomen should be contracted back towards the spine and downward and forward strokes to the abdominal recti should be maintained. The recti will contract and stand out isolated from other muscles. This is Madhyama Nauli.
For Dakshina (right) and Vama (left) Nauli, increase pressure on the thighs with the hands, bending the whole body on the same side while maintaining the Madhyama Nauli. Then learn to manipulate from right to left (Dakshina to Madhyama and then to Vama), and the other way round rhythmically 3 to 4 times. After one attempt, breathe in and stand straight. Take a few normal breaths and then repeat. After completing, stand up straight and relax. It is always better to practice Uddiyana before practicing Nauli.
When one has gained complete control over these three types of Nauli, rolling of the recti muscles clockwise and anti clockwise is practised. This is known as Nauli Chalana
Nauli should be practiced on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning, after emptying the bladder and bowels. Nauli should be done only after mastering Uddiyana. After that gradually proceed from Madhyama to Nauli chalana (rotation). Nauli should be practiced upto six rounds in the morning daily, starting initially with three rounds. Do not lose control of Uddiyana while practicing Nauli.
The practice should be stopped immediately if any pain is felt. It is contraindicated in boys and girls in the pre-pubertal age, pregnant women or persons suffering from high blood pressure, abdominal diseases such as appendicitis, colitis, peptic and duodenal ulcers, hernia, intestinal disorders, serious cardiac or respiratory diseases. Nauli is known to be an effective method for treating various abdominal ailments like dyspepsia, constipation. It helps in toning up the liver, spleen, kidney and pancreas. It also contribute in preventing hernia and appendicitis. It is known to be beneficial in ovarian insufficiency, menstrual and sexual disorders.